Asheviller: Ron and Valerie Move to Asheville…

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Aug '11


It doesn’t seem like nearly a year ago but last October 13 was the point in construction when we foam insulated the house. Now, six weeks shy of a year, we’re at it again. This time it’s the shop. I debated doing this (vs installing standard fiberglass batts) because it’s more expensive, but two things, really three things, led to the decision. One, because the garage and the weight of two cars and a concrete floor is over the shop, all the ceiling and wall construction is on 12″ centers vs the normal 16″. Because of that, standard-width fiberglass batts won’t fit between the studs. We’d need to buy 24″ batts and cut them down the center which would be time-consuming and make for poor R-value because there wouldn’t always be a perfect cut and fit. Two, foam is just plain better than fiberglass for insulating because it has a greater R-value/inch and it fills every knook and cranny. We plan on having just a small propane wall heater so efficiency is king. I’d like to keep the shop warm and not worry about frozen pipes — and have a low gas bill, too. Turning our shop into a big Thermos bottle will do that. And three, Valerie said “Foam it!” Decision. Done.

Well, not exactly. It turns out that because our crawlspace under the shop is sealed it has a very slick white plastic fabric spread tightly over the dirt floor. The installation guys looked over the job and were concerned about ripping the fabric with their ladders and equipment (yes, you need a ladder to get to the ceiling in our crawlspace) so they recommended not foaming the ceiling over the crawlspace and instead using fiberglass batts. The floor joists there are 16″ on center and there are few if any wires or pipes. They claim they can easily push the standard batts into place with poles and not risk tearing the plastic that seals floor. It’s okay by me since there’s little heat loss through the floor and it’ll save a couple hundred $$. They’ll return next weeks with the fiberglass to do that work.

It took them nearly a full day to foam everything but they’re done and it looks good. On Monday the slatboard and pegboard will be  delivered and Steve will get to work finishing our shop.


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